October 22nd, 2009 | 2 MIN READ

After the Shipping Deadline: Holiday Merchandising Tips

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Unless you can afford free overnight shipping to holiday shoppers, you need a plan for merchandising your e-store for that period between the shipping cutoff date and Christmas Day. Consider applying the following ideas to your website and email campaigns to keep the register ringing like sleigh bells:

Promote Electronic Gift Cards

  • Remind customers it's never too late to send an electronic gift card prominently on the home page, horizontal navigation, email campaigns, product page cross-sells etc
  • In 2007, Musician's Friend provided a cash-back incentive for purchasing an e-gift certificate with a “$20 ComeBack Cash in the New Year” offer. Buy a gift certificate of $100 or more and receive a $20 gift card to use before February 15, 2008.

Switch Gears to Clearance

Last year we saw post-Christmas sales begin before Santa had a chance to round up his reindeer. Customers may be anticipating retailers to do the same this year, so consider the timing of your post-holiday markdowns and the deadlines for your banner/home page design creative.

Show Off What's New

Some retailers opt to forget the holidays and focus on new (regular priced) arrivals:

Ring In the New Year

If you sell relevant products, why not switch gears to the New Year? (Think party supplies, outfits and New Year resolutions.)

Belated Gift Notifications

CompUSA and Omaha Steaks have offered to send e-gift announcements to gift recipients to let them know they were not forgotten, their gift is on the way but will arrive after Christmas.

Keep Your Shipping Cutoff Dates Up

Finally, don't remove your shipping cutoff dates even after the deadline has passed. Your customers are not psychic and will want to find this information before deciding to continue shopping with you. Make it easy. You may lose the gifting sale but you may keep the customer on your site or drive them in-store.

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